Digital Factories have now become the main components of brands, businesses, customer value, and markets. According to Contentful, customers today want to interact with the digital signature and check business apps and social media instead of just going through their website.
Customers also expect to have superior product quality plus superior experiences of consuming the services or products. That is because there is increased knowledge in technology, easy access to services and products, and changing environments.
To meet all these demands, companies must evolve their business models and production techniques. To do that, they need to transform their production sites and factories into digital factories.
What Is A Digital Factory?
A digital factory is a network of digital models that imitate the aspects of physical factories. They include a collection of tools and methods, all of which the businesses manage using integrated data management systems.
The tools and methods in these factories also include 3D visualization and simulation. The main objective of these factories is continuous evaluation, enhancement, and comprehensive planning for the physical factories.
A digital factory allows the organization to integrate machinery, processes, technologies, and computer systems, which allows them to prototype, produce, and engineer products within a shorter time.
Depending on its goals and objectives, a company can choose to spread its digital factory across locations or concentrated in one location.
Why Implement Digital Factories?
The main focuses of a digital factory are;
- Shortening go-to-market time.
- Better economic efficacy and planning quality.
- Uniform planning standards.
- Better communication.
- Capable knowledge management.
Some of the benefits that a company can get from using a digital factory include;
- Easier real-time data sharing and tracking.
- Easier training and prototyping on new products.
- Reduced labor costs.
- Improved product quality.
- On-time delivery.
- Better productivity.
- Reduced direct costs like materials transportation, and logistics.
Prerequisites For Implementation
Some of the factors that companies need to keep in mind for successful implementation of a digital factory and cultural changes include;
- Attracting the right and best talents.
- Top managers are the ones who should oversee the transformation, but projects heads in conjunction with business owners are the ones who should handle the process. They should use KPIs to track progress and to ensure success; they should materialize MVPs.
- Creating small but efficient and effective squads that have the correct complementary skill set.
- Setting clear purposes, which helps align the organization’s goal with the internal process changes.
- Creating a collaboration environment.
- Integrating new products.
- Optimizing investments.
How Digital Factories Work
A digital factory’s primary purpose is to bring positive changes to a business by offering better services and products. Businesses that want a digital factory have cross-functional teams that use repetitive processes and tools to make the same products.
However, with every iteration, they offer enhanced solutions, newer services, and experiences. There is also a command center that powers the cross-functional digital factory teams and gives them mission-critical expertise.
Finally, there is an operating committee whose job is to oversee the digital factory’s work. It tracks work progress, provides funding, and removes obstacles.
How To Set Up A Digital Factory For Your Business
- Base your enterprise resource planning on a future-proof platform that adjusts to workflows designed by emerging technologies.
- Design Internet of Things answers for particular problems.
- Have artificial intelligence that changes machines without interventions from a human being.
- Upgrade the equipment of your staff so that they have easy data access.
For a digital factory to work, companies need to have clear missions, balance team independence and leadership, have a hands-on command center, and unite the development process with everyday enterprise needs.